LIMERICK is now without a major record store, after the permanent closure of HMV’s two city locations was confirmed.
David Carson, of Deloitte, the receiver appointed to HMV’s Irish shops, confirmed the two stores, in Cruises Street and at the Crescent Shopping Centre, will close for good, leaving 30 people out of work.
Last month, HMV in Ireland was placed in receivership after the operation here and in Britain recorded losses.
The receiver has confirmed that it was not possible to attract a buyer for Limerick’s HMV stores.
A statement from Deloitte read: “Since his appointment, the receiver has conducted an assessment of the viability of the company and has actively sought a sale. The marketplace is very difficult given competition from web-based retailers and digital downloads, compounded by a number of other factors including high levels of rent. All stores were loss making and it was not possible to attract a purchaser.”
Chairman of the City Council’s economic committee, Cllr Diarmuid Scully offered his sympathies to the staff who have lost their jobs.
He blamed the closure on a failure by HMV to keep up with the times.
Asked if he feels there is a market for a record store in the city, he said: “There probably is, but in terms of the sort of operation HMV had, it is hard to see it.”
Staff have had their wages paid in full up to when the store closed in mid-January, after a high-profile sit-in.
But they will only get a statutory redundancy settlement, now the company is no longer trading in this country.
The closure of the HMV store in the heart of Limerick in particular represents a blow, due to its location. Opened in 1992, HMV was one of the original shops in Cruises Street, which has seen an alarming drop off in trade.